Your starting point You have created a document in Word, FrameMaker, OpenOffice, PowerPoint, etc. and need to distribute it in accessible Portable Document Format (PDF) You are responsible for making sure someone else’s PDF is accessible and you cannot edit the source file
Setting up the source document Use template styles for every heading and paragraph Add alternative text for every image Use column and/or row headers for tables and add a caption or intro text Make sure links make sense out of context (no “click here”) Use short URLs; be considerate to screen reader users Screen captures in this section from http://blogs.adobe.com/accessibility/assets/WordToPDFReferenceCard_v1.pdf
Creating a tagged PDF In Word, configure the PDFMaker Word 2003 Word 2007
First Steps in Checking for Accessibility Specify document language (File > Document Properties > Advanced tab) Use document structure (On Pages panel, select all pages, right-click and select Use Document Structure) Run the Adobe Full Check (Advanced > Accessibility > Full Check)
Checking Adobe PDF Tags PDF tags express the structure of the document.
Confirming the Tags are Correct Characteristics of a properly tagged PDF The PDF file includes a logical reading order for its content Images are given correct alternate descriptions Tables are correctly tagged to represent the table structure Form-fields are authored to promote their utility to screen-readers Represents text as Unicode to clear up composition irregularities such as soft and hard hyphens (use Acrobat 9 for full Unicode support) Credit: http://www.planetpdf.com/enterprise/article.asp?ContentID=6067
Using the Detailed Error Report Acrobat provides a detailed error report Click an error to go to it in the document Once there, use Acrobat tools to fix the problem
Touching Up the Reading Order Touch up the reading order (Advanced > Accessibility > Touchup Reading Order) Click Show Order Panel
Using the TouchUp Reading Order Panel Reading order of a PDF document
Understanding Reading Order Options Credit: http://www.webaim.org/techniques/acrobat/acrobat.php
Adding Tags to an Untagged PDF Adding tags If you don’t see the numbered boxes in the reading order view, the document is probably not tagged. To add tags, select Advanced > Accessibility > Add Tags to Document. This is the quickest way to add tags but the result will not be perfect. You will need to check the tags.
Fixing PDF Tags Tips for fixing tags Confirm that each numbered box in the document is properly tagged. Add alternate text as needed to figures as needed. Remove nonessential content, such as ornamental page borders, from the logical structure tree as needed. Note that when you remove the tags (such as by using the Delete Item Structure or Clear Page Structure commands), you cannot undo that action. Save your file often.
Adding Scope to Table Headers Add scope to table headers With the TouchUp Reading Order tool open, select a table and then select Table Inspector. Select table cells that should be headers, right- click on a selected cell or cells, and choose Table Cell Properties. After tagging the header cells, header cells are highlighted in red and data cells in gray.
Tagging Artifacts Tagging artifacts Artifacts are items that screen readers should ignore. Identify an artifact in the Order or Tags panels. In the Order panel, select the element and click the Background button. On the Tags panel, right-click and select Change Tag to Artifact. Tags Panel
Tab through the output to make sure that the reading order is logical. Refer to the Dept of Health and Human Services accessibility checklists. (Web pages only) Download the WAVE Firefox toolbar and view the web page in Text-only view (http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar).http://wave.webaim.org/toolbar Download an evaluation copy of JAWS and read the document out loud (http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/fs/jaws- product-page.asp).http://www.freedomscientific.com/products/fs/jaws- product-page.asp Use the Adobe Read Out Loud feature to simulate what it would be like for other assistive technology (such as JAWS) to read your PDFs out loud. Turn off your monitor when you use either JAWS or Adobe Read Out Loud (this takes some practice with each tool) to simulate what it is like not to see what you are doing.
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